2013 NFL Mock Draft: Projecting What Each Round One Team Must Do
With less than five months to the 2013 NFL draft, it's never too early to start projecting what each first-round team will do when commissioner Roger Goodell puts them on the clock.
That's the case here, when we take a look at the glaring need each team has at its current draft slot in relation to what the talent is going to look like at that position in the draft.
We all know that Kansas City—likely to have the No. 1 overall pick—will be looking for a franchise QB. Last night's game on Thursday Night Football revealed the the Cincinnati Bengals might need help on the offensive line, while the Philadelphia Eagles might have just hit rock bottom.
In any event, we've got all 32 teams covered in this mock draft. Scroll through and see what your team must do come Round 1.
Note: Draft order courtesy of CBS Sports and accurate as of 12/14/12.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: QB Matt Barkley, USC
Is Barkley good enough to be the No. 1 overall selection?
Conventional wisdom suggests that Kansas City will make the Robert Griffin III move and draft the talented dual-threat QB from West Virginia, Geno Smith.
However, Barkley still has the bowl game, the Senior Bowl and the NFL combine to prove to scouts that the six losses his team suffered weren't at the hands of his poor play down the stretch. Call me a believer, but I think Barkley rises to the occasion.
Instead of an RG3 move, the Chiefs make an Andrew Luck one. Barkley still has the talent to go No. 1 in this draft (it's that weak of a class).
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia
This guy has some of the biggest pure talent in the draft. He's a force for the Bulldogs, and it showed against Alabama with some nice plays in space and in the pass rush.
It appears the Jaguars will let Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert battle it out—at least for one more season. This isn't the year to reach for a QB that might not be the franchise type. Jacksonville did so in 2011 with Gabbert. They won't do so again.
3. Oakland Raiders: DE Barkevious Mingo, LSU
There's any number of ways this depleted Oakland squad could go. Without a big-name talent at QB or RB, look for the black and silver to beef up on defense with Mingo, a hybrid pass rusher that needs a little more weight and maybe a year before he emerges as a true pass threat. You can't argue with his highlight film, though. Solid pick for Oakland.
4. Arizona Cardinals: OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
Count me in on Lewan, the man who is going to have to stop Jadaveon Clowney in the Outback Bowl. I think his stock will skyrocket enough to bounce fellow tackle Luke Joeckel out of the mix.
No QB, you say? The Cardinals got their only four wins of the season with Kevin Kolb. There isn't a premium on finding an elite QB this year, so the Cardinals hold out one more year, à la this year's version of the Buffalo Bills.
5. Carolina Panthers: OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
Joeckel doesn't fall for long and winds up protecting Cam Newton in Carolina next season. It'll be an easy transition for a tackle that had to deal with Johnny Manziel's scrambling antics all season; Newton will do much of the same if given the opportunity, and Joeckel should be a starter from day one for an offensive line that lost Jordan Gross early on in 2012.
6. Philadelphia Eagles: DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State
From blocking kicks to getting after the QB, this guy does it all. One of the most feared defensive players in the ACC, Werner is a force on one of the nation's best defenses. With the Eagles finding a QB in Foles that can really play, they'll need weapons on the offensive and defensive line. Lewan and Joeckel are the picks if they fall, but assuming they don't, Philly goes defense.
7. Detroit Lions: LB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
After whiffing on Ernie Sims a few years back, Detroit gets its franchise player in Te'o. From a pure leadership standpoint there aren't many better than this senior captain, and after fading down the stretch in several games on defense, that's exactly the kind of characteristic it appears this defense needs.
8. Tennessee Titans: DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
With a glaring need on defense, the Titans address their defensive line with one of college football's most disruptive pass- and run-stuffers. It's hard to say he falls this far, but if he does, expect the Titans to scoop him up like a Tiki Barber fumble.
9. Cleveland Browns: DE/OLB Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
After watching Von Miller put up MVP-type performances this season, the Browns decide they need an Aggie of their own to bolster a defense in need. Moore is a talented, Anthony Spencer-type player that will only get better with grooming and the right amount of hard work.
Cleveland needs young studs on defense to pair with its young studs on offense. A five-win 2012 (with three games to play) suddenly doesn't look all that bad in relation to 2013 with a guy like Moore as the pick.
10. Buffalo Bills: QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
Somehow, someway, the Bills will wind up with Smith. Call me crazy, but I don't see this guy making it through the gauntlet untouched.
Not only does he play in an upper Northeast, colder climate offense, he can run the same type of spread look that Buffalo runs from time to time and still rely on C.J. Spiller in the passing game after the team rids itself of Fred Jackson. Many people expect Smith to be gone, but either through trade or a miracle, Buffalo is the right fit for Geno.
11. Miami Dolphins: OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
Jake Long appears headed for greener pastures, so it's up to the Dolphins to find his replacement. Who better than Matthews, the bookend tackle from Texas A&M that has the skills to be an extremely good blind-side protector in his career.
12. San Diego Chargers: CB Dee Milliner, Alabama
At No. 12, this a steal for a defense that has looked downright horrible against the pass at times this year. Antoine Cason and Quentin Jammer are both free agents, and the Chargers can follow the path of the Dallas Cowboys by dumping dead weight at the position.
Milliner has 18 passes defensed and thrives in ball-hawking situations, a much-needed addition in San Diego. He'll be a good player right away and won't require much grooming, although Peyton Manning is sure to give him a rude awakening.
13. New Orleans Saints: DT John Jenkins, Georgia
Defense wins championships, and the Saints found that out the hard way without a consistent pass rush and a laughable run defense.
Jenkins is the second Georgia Bulldog off the board, and he's a good one—the best DT available with Lotulelei taken. A disruptive force, this is the right pick for a team in dire straits on the defensive line.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
Rhodes is a bit of a stretch at No. 14, but so is Jonathan Banks, the CB from Mississippi State that fell off some down the stretch of his college season.
Rhodes is a good pick for a Buccaneers team already getting younger with S Mark Barron. Another secondary piece two years in a row might seem redundant, but getting good cover guys is a premium in today's pass-first NFL.
15. New York Jets: DE Dion Jordan, Oregon
Aaron Maybin hit the streets and the Jets are still waiting on Quinton Coples to claim a position that should have been his from day one.
That being said, Jordan has been a nice surprise in the Pac-12, getting to the passer on a defense not known for that kind of consistency and NFL-like talent. Jets fans are going to call for a new QB and slew of receivers, but it won't be Rex Ryan's style to fix this thing offense-first.
16. St. Louis Rams: G Chance Warmack, Alabama
Jeff Fisher won't let Sam Bradford go through another season of wondering if he'll play the next week. St. Louis took major strides this year, but one stride it was unable to take was along the offensive line, which is where Warmack comes in.
An All-SEC and All-American talent, Warmack will help clear the way for whichever running back emerges as the starter in St. Louis while also keeping Bradford's jersey clean.
17. St. Louis Rams: S Eric Reid, LSU
(via Washington Redskins, RG3 trade)
The Skins will pay for RG3, but hey, they aren't complaining.
Reid is a solid safety who fits right into a secondary that already has playmakers in Janoris Jenkins and Cortland Finnegan, a solid tandem. The NFC West is looking like one of the toughest divisions in football with the addition of St. Louis to the mix.
18. Minnesota Vikings: WR Terrance Williams, Baylor
It's obvious that Minnesota has a lack of weapons on the outside. Attribute that to whatever you want, but by drafting Williams they'll have a 4-WR lineup that includes Percy Harvin, Jarius Wright, Jerome Simpson and Williams.
Pair that with the NFL's best running back, Adrian Peterson, and another year of Christian Ponder figuring it all out, and Minnesota suddenly is dangerous again. Williams is a ball-possession receiver not afraid to go over the middle of the field or burn a corner deep. He'll be a nice addition in both the chain-game and the play action offense.
19. Dallas Cowboys: G Barrett Jones, Alabama
Guard, center—who cares where this guy plays on the interior line? It will be center to start out with for the Cowboys, who continually have passed on interior lineman in drafts past.
They can't afford to do that after watching Tony Romo run for his life all season. Jones fills an obvious need and is one of the best this draft has to offer when it comes to lineman.
20. Cincinnati Bengals: DE Sam Montgomery, LSU
It's tough to pass up on an offensive lineman here, especially after watching Andy Dalton get sacked six times on Thursday night.
But the defensive line is a concern on the outside, and with Geno Atkins coming into his own at defensive tackle, why not grab another solid force to pair alongside him? Some like Montgomery better than Mingo, and he certainly feels more NFL-ready than his Tiger counterpart. Solid pick for the Bengals.
21. Pittsburgh Steelers: S Vinny Vaccaro, Texas
Let's face it—Head and Shoulders Polamalu isn't getting any younger. The injury concerns in this secondary are high, and they are high enough to warrant consideration of a younger talent.
Vaccaro is in the mold of Polamalu and would benefit from his experience and information more than any one player in this draft. If available, this makes a lot of sense for Pittsburgh from a forward-thinking draft standpoint.
22. Chicago Bears: TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
The Golden Domers enter the draft for the second time with Eifert, one of the nation's best receivers at the tight end position. His play against Michigan State almost single-handedly won Notre Dame that football game.
With Greg Olsen gone and the Bears in dire need of a chain-moving tight end, Eifert helps pick up that slack.
23. Seattle Seahawks: WR DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson
Russell Wilson has proven himself worthy. He now needs receivers that will do the same.
Hopkins was a touchdown machine for Tajh Boyd this year, and he'll continue to be that same kind of threat in the NFL. The Seahawks appear set for both now and the future, and could only bolster their chances with a guy like Hopkins to stretch the field.
24. New York Giants: CB Johnathan Banks, Mississippi State
There's a number of ways the Giants could go this year, but one of them appears always to be secondary.
Pairing Banks alongside Prince Amukamara and emerging talent Stevie Brown would be killer for this defense, which already has pass rushers in place and the motivation of a Super Bowl at hand. Offensive line and even D-Line are two other options, but the Giants have never been shy about stockpiling talent.
25. Indianapolis Colts: OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
Andrew Luck needs protection.
After a great rookie campaign, the focus for the Colts this offseason must be keeping Luck healthy and ready to compete again, much like the goal was for Peyton Manning after he proved he could play a little bit. Fisher is a small-school talent, but he plays as hard as anyone in the country.
26. Green Bay Packers: WR Keenan Allen, California-Berkley
Aaron Rodgers will get a fellow Bear coming to Green Bay. With Greg Jennings injury-prone and a free agent, the Packers need to add another receiver—it's usually their most important position in this offense.
Offensive line might be the way to go wi a pass rusher, but Allen is a solid, talented No. 2-type receiver that would thrive in Green Bay.
27. Baltimore Ravens: OLB Alex Ogletree, Georgia
The Ray Lewis/Terrell Suggs era can't last forever. Ogletree is a fast, physical specimen at outside linebacker that could only help delay the inevitable in Baltimore. He would also benefit from learning from two of the all-time greats.
28. San Francisco 49ers: LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama
Patrick Willis and Mosley? Count me in. San Francisco gets even better on defense with this head-buster, and does so in style with an Alabama product. SS Matt Elam is a choice here with the future of Dashon Goldson in question, but Mosley would be a nice value pick at the end of the first round.
29. New England Patriots: WR/KR/RB/ATH Tavon Austin, West Virginia
This seems like a match made in Patriots Heaven.
It appears New England will try and jettison Wes Welker in the offseason and can do so gracefully with Austin as his immediate replacement. The kid can fly, return kicks and even play running back in stretches—he's almost a faster, better version of Danny Woodhead. Look out, AFC.
30. Denver Broncos: NT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State
This is a pick of talent over need because the Broncos need an upgrade along the offensive line. Look for Denver to upgrade that position in free agency, while addressing defensive tackle with Hankins, one of the most underrated players at his position this year.
31. Atlanta Falcons: OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma
The Falcons could go running back or linebacker here, but with Matt Ryan as the franchise player in Atlanta, it's clear they need to protect him. Lane Johnson is a guy that has protected Landry Jones in a pass-first offense, so he's a quality pick here.
32. Houston Texans: WR Justin Hunter, Tennessee
It's no secret that Houston needs a No. 2 wideout. Hunter's been catching balls from Tyler Bray and will now get to do so from Matt Schaub, one of the better passers in the NFL. Opposite Andre Johnson, does this make Houston even more scary next year?
Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for B/R's Breaking News Team.
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